While granite and marble remain popular among homeowners, it’s hard to deny that quartz materials have been making inroads in the countertop market.
“Quartz is being chosen over natural stone because the look of stone can achieved, but with greater durability,” says Shaun Doughtery of SDI. “A great example is the look of marble in the kitchen. Marble was a popular choice for the kitchen but people have been hesitant to choose it due to staining, chipping, and the softness of stone. It wasn’t holding up. Quartz companies are replicating the look of marble for less money. Their countertops are much more durable but have the classic look of marble.”
In agreement is Bohnne Jones of Decorating Den Interiors who says, “The white kitchen continues in popularity, which cabinets with a light colored backsplash and light colored countertop. A marble look is still desirable in the kitchen—and we put the emphasis on “look” by often specifying quartz, which is much more user friendly and durable.” She adds that there is more consistency in a quartz product—in both color and pattern. “Marble and stone are ‘natural’ products and you will find varieties that have either consistent or widely variant patterning.”
Candace Sone of Sone Design, Inc., says, “Lighter colored stone and quartz has been trending lately and I believe will be around for quite some time. I prefer to specify quartz because of its durability and many color options. Often, it is less expensive than natural stone and is easier to maintain and repair. Natural stone can crack, stain, and have variations that are not pleasing to some of our clients. Of course, there is nothing that can replace a one of a kind gorgeous piece of natural stone when the application is appropriate!”
“Durability and the wide range of colors are still the main reasons people choose natural stone and quartz,” says Lawrence Johns of Ellen Sherwood Design. “Quartz offers some exciting colors not normally found in nature that can provide an unusual wow factor in kitchens and baths. The light-colored marble look is still fashionable with gloss or leather surfaces leading the way.”
Cambria quartz has the look and feel of granite, according to Aliki Vrohidis, but features superior performance due to its strength and durability. “As a stain resistant, non-porous, natural quartz surface Cambria is harder, safer, and easier to care for than other stone surfaces,” she says.
The difference between quartz and granite and marble is that granite and marble are extremely porous, absorb bacteria, scratch easily, Vrohidis adds. “Homeowners investing in surfaces want their countertops to last and want to buy from a company they can trust. Cambria materials carry a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.”
Mary Soeder of PDI reports her company receives numerous requests for information about countertop considerations. “We are seeing more and more homeowners selecting quartz because the pricing has stabilized,” she says. “The designs and recreations of marbles are stunning and look like real marble. In addition, quartz surfaces are readily available. The durability of quartz, when compared to marble, is hard to discount.
When a client selects natural stone, Soeder says, “It’s because they prefer the depth of the color and often they want the natural feel of slate, limestone, granite, or marble.”
There are a number of local resources for natural stone & quartz including:
Decorating Den Interiors
Ellen Sherwood Design
Florim Tile Outlet
French’s Cabinet Gallery
Hermitage Lighting Gallery
Natural Stone Distributors
Prestige Granite & Marble
ProCraft Cabinetry Inc.
Smokey Mountain Tops
Sone Design, Inc.
Tile Shop, The
Franklin 615/ 771-7669
Nashville 615/ 333-7690
Traditions in Tile
Triton Stone Group